The advertising slump is afflicting the dignified end of the radio dial, too.
Far from being immune to the downturn hitting commercial broadcasters and other media, National Public Radio has imposed layoffs and canceled two news programs in the past year. NPR's Sacramento affiliate, Capital Public Radio, has also had layoffs.
On a visit to Sacramento on Wednesday, NPR's new president and chief executive said the national organization is losing money and likely won't return to break-even status for another year.
"We had a rough year, like everybody," said Vivian Schiller, who became NPR's CEO last January. "I walked smack into a fiscal crisis."
But Schiller, who was meeting with staffers at Capital Public Radio, said in an interview that "things have stabilized" and NPR is "on a trajectory to a balanced budget" in the fiscal year that begins next October.
At Capital Public Radio, layoffs and attrition claimed eight full-time-equivalent positions in the latest fiscal year, leaving a staff of around 40. But revenue is up 17 percent since the new fiscal year began in July.
"We're faring better than most," said Rick Eytcheson, president and general manager.
Corporate sponsorships at Capital Public Radio fell about 18 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, to $1.5 million. Total revenue fell about 6 percent, to about $7 million, Eytcheson said.
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